Whenever that what this guide is about comes to my mind that the’inbuilt music player’ in my mind is turned on and among the most renowned Reggae tunes from the late 1960s begins to playwith. Do you recall these days and your first serious romance? Well, this guide is all about black pearls also, but black pearls of another kind and it isn’t restricted to them’.
Burma, the country I call home because over 25 years, has played a notable part in the worldwide pearl industry and some of the world’s biggest and most precious pearls are found in the waters off the northeast shore. However, as 15 years Burma is back on the stage of worldwide pearl industry and increasingly successful with its distinctive silver and gold South Sea Cultured Pearls.
This harvest was a terrific success. The pearls belonged to the group of greatest South Sea Cultured Pearls and attracted greatest prices. Within a couple of years Burma had earned itself a great reputation as manufacturer of South Sea Cultured Pearls of highest quality and stayed in the world’s leading group of South Sea Cultured Pearl producing nations till 1983 when reputedly in consequence of a fungal disease Burma’s pearl oyster stock was almost entirely extinguished. Burma’s Pearl Industry recovered quite slowly and for over a decade its pearl production remained negligible and the pearl quality fairly inferior.
Now, in ancient 2016, there are 1 government owned company, 4 independently owned local businesses and 4 overseas companies (joint ventures) representing the Burmese pearl market. They’re culturing pearls mainly on islands of the Mergui Archipelago and Pearl Island and are on a fantastic way to recover Burma’s formerly excellent reputation and assist the country to play an increasingly significant role as pearl manufacturer in the world South Sea Cultured Pearl marketplace. Not necessarily in terms of quantity but definitely concerning premium quality. Burmese pearl organizations are already getting more and more attention in the worldwide pearl market.
OK, let’s now focus on the central theme and star of the article: the Pearl.
At the start of this article I spoke of love in relationship with pearls and pearls are really something fantastic to express love with. However, the story of a pearl’s coming into being may not be one of love but – imagining the pearl-producing shelled mollusc can feel pain – at least in its beginning instead of a story of pain as something that doesn’t belong there’s entered into the mollusc’s living tissue. To put it differently, a pearl is the result of the defence against a debilitating hostile attack. It is like the thorn of a rose has lodged itself in your thumb; ouch! But that is precisely how the life of a pearl starts, with something that manages to creep in the shell of a mollusc and to enter its soft tissue. This’something’ could be e.g. a larva of a parasite or a very small grain of sand.
Question:”What’s a pearl?” A pearl is something comparatively hard and generally silvery-white that is either round or of irregular shape. Its nucleus is an’intruder’, which the pearl-producing mollusc has coated with a pearl sac about which it’s deposited layers of microscopic smaller crystals of calcium carbonate known as’nacre’ to be able to isolate the foreign item called’irritant’. Between the layers which compose the pearl are layers of the natural chemical conchiolin which glues them together and at exactly the exact same time separates them. The process of creating these nacre layers will be not ending what means that the older the pearl is, the bigger is the quantity of its own layers and, then, the larger it is. This is the reply to the question.
“And that’s all?” You might now ask. Keep on reading and you’ll know. Let us have a peek into the history of pearls and pearl company and return to the beginning.
It was probably 500 BC (possibly earlier) that people focused more on the contents compared to the wrap and began to appreciate the beauty of pearls over the mother-of-pearl of the manufacturers’ shells. Therefore, they set the best of the pearls at the same level with’gemstones’ and attached high value to them in immaterial terms (electricity and attractiveness ) and substance terms (riches ).
Pearls are also known as’Stone of the sea’ but unlike any other stone, a pearl is the product of a living being. In other words, pearls are the sole’gems’ of organic origin, which is precisely how gemmologists classify pearls generally: as’coloured gems of organic origin’. And pearls are the sole’stone’ that require no polishing or cutting – just cleaning – until they exhibit their whole beauty.
Back then pearls just existed in the kind of natural also called crazy pearls. To put it differently, the demand for pearls – either singly, as so-called collectors’ item or as part of jewelry – was quite high and the supply very low what made a particular class of pearls a highly priced luxury article and the transaction with these pearls a very profitable company. Fuelled by three of humanity’s strongest motives – to be wealthy, strong and beautiful – the search for pearls by buyers and sellers alike had begun.
Let us have a second, closer look in their natural founders. Can no matter whether they’re populating bodies of freshwater such as lakes and rivers or bodies of saltwater such as seas and oceans create pearls what’s a process known as’calcareous concretion’. However, the huge majority of those pearls are of no value whatsoever except maybe in the standpoint of a collector or collector.
The differences between useless and valuable pearls are in a mixture of the size, weight, shape, lustre, colour (incl. Nacreousness and iridescence) as well as requirements of the surface. These are the criteria which decide on whether a pearl is of gem quality and can draw maximum prices. Only this category of pearls is of interest to the long string of these being involved in pearl company from pearl diver to pearl vendor on the supply side also, of course, the purchaser on the demand side.
Those pearls which make it in the top set of gem-quality pearls are made by just a few species of mussels and/or pearl oysters. Freshwater pearls are made by members of the fresh water mussel household’Unionidae’ whereas saltwater pearls are made by members of the pearl oyster family’Pteriidae’.
Until 1928 when the very first pair of cultured pearls was created and introduced into the pearl market by Mitsubishi Company/Japan there were just natural pearls in the marketplace. This kept the amount of commercially valuable pearls little and their costs extremely high. This was particularly true for’perfect’ pearls which were perfectly round and fetched the highest prices.
The following example gives you an idea of the worth of pearls in’pre-cultural’ decoration times. A matched double strand of 55 and 73 (in total 128) round organic pearls from jeweller Pierre Cartier was appreciated in 1917 in USD 1 million. Factoring to the calculation an annual average inflation rate of 3.09 percent the pearl strand’s existing financial value would be USD 20.39 million! I am positive that after having taken a deep breath you have a very good picture of what values I’m talking with regard to pearls particularly in regards to natural pearls before the development of cultured pearls. And by-the-by, natural pearls are always the most valuable and precious, even in the age of the cultured pearl. Why? This is so because these pearls are pure character and complete unique especially if we add the variable antiquity.
With the commercialisation of this by the British biologist William Saville-Kent developed along with the Western Tokichi Nishikawa patented method to produce cultured pearls that the pearl industry was revolutionised and has undergone most dramatic changes. A cultured pearl business based on the new procedure developed in Japan and things changed radically.
Since the’How To’ was kept confidential and not permitted to be made accessible to foreigners It also gave Japan the worldwide monopoly of cultured pearls, therefore, the global dominance of and control over the pearl industry, which, amongst others, allowed the manipulation of pearl costs by controlling the number of pearls made accessible; similar to the De Beers diamond syndicate controlled the international diamond market. Prices dropped and the purchase of pearls which was affordable before the availability of cultured pearls only to a lucky few was now possible for an extremely high number of financially better off individuals; demand for pearls exploded and Japan’s pearl industry began to boom and made enormous profits through direct sales of considerable quantities of cultured pearls, licences and stocks in business partnerships with overseas businesses. Now, this has changed and there are more cultured pearl producing nations; some, like China, do sometimes sell their cultured pearls (especially freshwater pearls, in a cost of 10% of that of natural pearls that which allows almost everyone to purchase pearls and/or pearl jewelry. However, as the supply won’t ever meet up with the demand for pearls their costs will always stay high enough to make certain that pearl company remains to be’big business’.
Various Sorts Of Pearls
In this article I will deal mostly with the first three of these for these pearls are the most valuable and that is why those with the greatest commercial value.
Akoya Pearls are made by means of an oyster of their family Pteriidae which Japanese telephone Akoya oyster. The Latin name of it’s Pinctada fucata martensii. There’s absolutely no translation of the title Akoya into English and also the meaning of the term Akoya isn’t known.
Accordingly little is its pearl the size of that ranges depending on its age between two and 12mm. Akoya pearls with a bigger diameter than 10 mm are extremely uncommon and sold at high prices.
Normally the oysters remain for to 18 months in the water until they are harvested. After that it’s provided it has generated a fantastic pearl used as tissue donor.
The pearl’s silhouette can be round, mostly around, slightly off roundoff round, semi-baroque and baroque and its color can be white, black, pink, cream, medium cream, dark cream, blue, gold or grey. The pearls come with unique overtones, are largely white and their lustre is extremely brilliant second only to the lustre of South Sea Pearls. The Akoya Pearl is cultured mainly off the Chinese and Japanese coast.
South Sea Pearl
South Sea Pearls are made by an oyster of their family Pteriidae. The Latin name of it’s Pinctada maxima.
Cultured South Sea Pearls are among the rarest and therefore most precious of cultured pearls. Having a size of around 13 in/32.5 cm the South Sea Oyster is the world’s biggest pearl-producing oysters. Accordingly big are its pearls the dimensions of which range based on age between 8 and 22+ mm, but the average diameter of South Sea Pearls is 15 mm and Cultured South Sea Pearls exceeding a diameter of over 22 mm are something similar to the jackpot at the State Lottery.
Normally the oysters stay for 2-3 years in the water until they are harvested to acquire larger pearls. The oyster produces 2-3 pearls in its life. Then it is too old and is supplied it has generated good pearls used as tissue donor.
However, the most sought after are gold and silver. The South Sea Pearl is exceptionally polished with a minor satiny sheen.
The South Sea Pearl is cultured mainly in the Indian Ocean into the Pacific.
Tahitian Pearls are made by means of an oyster of their family Pteriidae that’s known as the black-lipped pearl oyster. The Latin name of it’s Pinctada margaritifera.
Tahitian Pearls commonly called black pearls belong to the group of rare, most precious cultured pearls and are increasingly in demand. Having a size of around 12 in/30 cm the Black Pearl Oyster is the world’s second biggest pearl-producing oysters.
Normally the oysters stay for 2-3 years in the water until they are harvested to acquire larger pearls. The oyster produces 2-3 pearls in its life. After that it’s provided it has generated good pearls used as tissue donor.
Even though the Tahitian Pearl is known as’Black Pearl’ many of these aren’t really black. Their colors range from dark anthracite, charcoal grey, silver grey to dark blue and dark green with every color having distinctive undertones and overtones of pink, green, blue, silver and even yellow.
The Tahitian Pearl’s lustre is extremely high with bright and brilliant reflections.
This, however, does not apply entirely anymore. Since the Ming Pearl, official title’Edison Pearl’, was introduced to the marketplace by the Chinese in January 2011, freshwater pearls do also have a very lovely representative in the group’Cultured Beaded Pearls’.
One of these is named Triangle Sail Mussel using the Latin title Hyriopsis cumingii, another one is named Biwa Pearl with the Latin title Hyriopsis schlegelii and the third one has the Latin name Christaria plicata and is named Cockscomb Pearl Mussel.
Beaded Freshwater Pearls or as they’re properly known as’ in-body bead-nucleated freshwater pearls’ are made by a hybrid kind of Hyriopsis cumingii and Hyriopsis cumingii.
It typically takes 3-5 years from the time of spraying until a non-beaded freshwater mussel is about to be harvested. But this slow pearl increase is more than compensated by the fact that one mussel can produce up to 40+ pearls in precisely the identical time. Normally the mussel produces 1 pair of pearls in its life. After that it’s provided it has generated good pearls used as tissue donor.
The mussel can only create one pearl at a time.
Their colours range from white to natural pastel colours like champagne, lavender, pink, blue and every colour in between.
The Freshwater Pearl’s lustre is packed with bright reflections.
The world’s biggest manufacturer of freshwater pearls is China.
Other Kinds of Pearls
Keishi Pearls can be seen in both freshwater and saltwater shelled molluscs. They are caused by oysters’/’ mussels’ ejecting of Infection before the minute the pearl has fully coated the augmentation with nacre. Keishi pearls are as the name suggests (Keishi means’little’ or’tiny’ in Japanese) usually small, made from pure nacre and irregular in shape. A Keishi pearl’s color ranges from silvery pure white to silvery gray and each variation between.
When the pearl is chosen it is skilfully cut out of the shell and after removing the implant the hollow part is full of a special wax before the backside’s being finished off with mother-of-pearl. In terms of colors these cover predominantly a broad assortment of white and attractive silvery pastel tones.
The question now is exactly what these cultured pearls which had this earth shattering effect on the worldwide pearl sector are, in the first place?
It’s of the utmost importance to know and understand a cultured pearl isn’t an artificial pearl or fake pearl.
First, the event that triggers the pearl’s coming into existence and, second, the final effect of this event. The main point is that the differences between a natural and a cultured pearl is a really small one and restricted to the function that initiates the growth of a pearl.
For the purpose of this piece I like to talk about that to what the shelled mollusc reacts with the introduction of a pearl in breeding terms and state that it’s’the means of fertilisation’ that makes the difference between’natural’ and’cultured’. In the wilderness the entering of this irritant happens unintentionally and without human beings being involved whereas in a pearl farm this occurs with human beings being involved by means of a surgical procedure called’grafting’. Phrased in breeding terms we could call it’artificial fertilisation’. I’ll briefly explain the procedure for grafting later. Everything that follows the inserting of the irritant i.e. the practice of the evolution of the pearl inside the oyster is purely natural.
The oysters’ benefits are that they’re for whatever it is worth growing up and living in a controlled environment where they are to a large extent protected from illness and natural enemies as well as the oysters proprietor benefits are that he can e.g. determine how many and what sort of pearls he would like to produce, once the host oysters have started to make the pears, what shape the pearls will have, what their color and lustre will be and what their dimensions will be, i.e. when they’ll be harvested.
The huge benefits to producing cultured pearls in comparison to diving for wild oyster pearls in regions with oyster beds in the hope to discover a commercially valuable natural pearl should by now have become very evident. This implies that if you aren’t very, very lucky, to borough in the golfer jargon, the’Jackpot-In-One’ type, you’ll probably have to locate thousands of natural pearls oyster, open and in doing so kill them before you will find one commercially precious pearl of the species you’re after. This is a really risky, annoying, time consuming, expensive and in the long term environmentally harmful affair. For this reason the procedure for culturing pearls has been developed.
Natural pearls will continue to decorate just a privileged few if not for the ingenuity of three Japanese guys
In 1902, Tatsuhei Mise planted 15,000 molluscs with silver and lead nuclei and two decades later, harvested little, round cultured pearls.
Around the same time, Dr. Nishikawa began seeding oysters with miniature silver and gold nuclei. His procedure also yielded little round cultured pearls. He applied for a patent which was limited to the implantation procedure that was uncannily like Mise’s. As the two procedures were almost identical, it became known as the Mise-Nishikawa method.
After all, it doesn’t make much in the method of sense to dip for organic pearl-producing oysters which are often available in depths of 60 to 85 feet, to collect them take them to the surface, clean them, graft them, mark them, return them to the oyster bed only to dive for them later so as to harvest the pearls. I think we do all agree that working this way are the most inefficient and ineffective way conceivable to create cultured pearls. So, the proper means of doing it’s pearl oyster farming. But however much pearl farming and hatching was improved and developed technically and otherwise especially in the past ten years it remains a risky undertaking and depends as much on skill as it is dependent on luck. Why luck? Luck, since there are several very serious natural and manmade threats inherent in pearl farming which are completely or to a large extent from human control. Examples of these are extreme changes in water temperatures, pollution of water with wastewater both domestic and industrial, ailments like the one due to’red tide’, unusual strong storms and water motion, siltation and lots of natural predators for pearl oysters like echinoderm (star fish, sea-cucumber), gastropods (snails and slugs), turbellaria (flatworms) and beams and octopuses, just to list some of the most popular natural and manmade threats. That’s the reason I advice you not to fool yourself when studying the following short descriptions. All seems smooth and well on paper but matters are undoubtedly not as simple as they might appear.
Pearl Oyster Hatching
The modern cultured pearl industry is for economic and biological motives to a growing extent stocking oyster farms with hatched oysters. The hatching process starts with the range of for hatching suitable pearl-producing oysters from the wilderness or from hatchery produced oysters and finishes with the oysters’ being prepared for producing pearls. When the acceptable male and female oysters are found they are put into spawning tanks full of saltwater. The water temperature is raised what sets into motion the next process.
6 mm is put into fine mesh as security for predators and moved into the raft suspended from the sea water of the farm. Grown larger to sub-adults they’re placed into larger mesh were they grow to adults.
The grafting of a pearl oyster starts with the choice of a proper wild or farm oyster and finishes with its being returned to the water i.e. into the oyster farm. The measures between would be the choosing of the perfect interval for the grafting, the appropriate preparing of the oyster for the grafting (less food, anesthetising), the choosing of a proper implant and graft tissue, the professional functioning of the surgical procedure and a suitable follow-up care of the oyster after the surgery until it’s released back into the water. This procedure is a significant one with the surgical procedure being the main part of it because of it determines not to a small level on passing rate of the oysters after operation, rejection of the implanted nucleus and the total quality of the end pearl.